Reader’s Links for July 19, 2020

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

70 Replies to “Reader’s Links for July 19, 2020”

  1. Major Fire Erupts at Factory in Tabriz, Northwestern Iran – Video (sputniknews, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202007191079928870-major-fire-erupts-at-factory-in-tabriz-northwestern-iran/

    “A factory located close to the town of Sheikh Hassan, in Northwestern Iran has caught fire, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

    Firefighters from the Iranian cities of Khosrowshah and Sardrud promptly arrived on the scene of the major blaze at a cellophane printing company situated southwest of Tabriz, ILNA reported. No casualties have been reported so far. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

    Social media users have shared multiple videos depicting black plumes of smoke rising from the factory.

    The incident comes hours after an explosion took place at a power plant in the central Iranian province of Isfahan, leaving no casualties.

    Since the start of July, several explosions and fires have hit various Iranian provinces, leaving several people dead and dozens injured.”

  2. Taliban Rejects ‘Russian Bounties’ Report as ‘Fake News’ to ‘Damage’ Group’s Peace Deal With US (sputniknews, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/asia/202007191079928699-taliban-rejects-russian-bounties-report-as-fake-news-to-damage-groups-peace-deal-with-us/

    “Earlier this month, the Taliban denied a New York Times report that Russian military intelligence offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan.

    Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has reiterated the militant group’s stance on its alleged collusion with Russia, which he said is nothing but “fake news”.

    “The Russian bounties report is not true; it is a baseless allegation. We’re fighting neither for anyone nor for money. Our people have their own ideology and they are fighting for that and sacrificing”, Shaheen told RT on Sunday.

    Referring to a US-Taliban peace deal signed earlier this year in Doha, he suggested that the “politically motivated” report “has to do with spoilers of the peace process” related to the aforementioned agreement.

    The goal is to “damage and harm this peace process”, Shaheen underscored, slamming the opponents to the deal’s “baseless thinking”.

    The remarks followed Shaheen’s previous rejection of The New York Times report about Russian military intelligence allegedly offering bounties to the Taliban for killing US servicemen in Afghanistan.

    “We’re continuing our own investigation based on the information in the media. These accusations are false and groundless, and they were launched by an intelligence agency in Kabul to derail and postpone the peace process as well as the formation of a new government”, he said in a statement earlier this month.

    Russia, which welcomes the Doha peace deal, and the Pentagon also denied the bounties claims, citing a lack of any proof pertaining to the allegations. The latter were even slammed by President Trump as a “fabricated hoax”.

    The developments came after the US and the Taliban signed a long-awaited peace agreement in the Qatari capital of Doha in late February, a deal that envisages the timetable of the US withdrawing some of its 13,000 troops from Afghanistan.

    The agreement also stipulates the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners and US cooperation with the new post-settlement Afghan Islamic government and Washington’s non-interference in Kabul’s internal affairs.

    In return, the Taliban is obliged to take steps to prevent terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda*, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the US and its allies.

    *Taliban, al-Qaeda, terrorist groups banned in Russia and a number of other countries”

  3. CBC – Quebec’s new mandatory mask rule is in effect

    As of Saturday, Quebecers aged 12 and over will have to wear a medical mask or one handcrafted by cloth in all indoor public spaces.

  4. CBC – Why are some people reluctant to wear masks when experts say it is the right thing to do

    Clinical psychologist Saunia Ahmad examines the refusal by some to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite public health advice.

    • No surprise that she fails to mention that the public has been lied to over and over and over and over again about Corona in every single aspect of it from the start, where we couldn’t even say it came from China, and flights from China were allowed in while the people in Canada for instance all had to stay home.

      That the constant lies about the treatments and the nature of this thing might make people reluctant to wear a stinky cloth over their face all the time.

  5. Iran chaos: Police fire tear gas in brutal protest crackdown as anger rises (express, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1311134/iran-news-iran-protests-police-tear-gas-riots-crackdown-coronavirus

    “IRAN has vowed to deal “decisively” with further protests over economic hardship, a day after security forces fired teargas to break up demonstrations in the southwestern city of Behbahan.

    Iran’s clerical rulers are desperate to prevent a revival of last November’s anti-government protests, when more than 1,000 people are thought to have been killed in the deadliest street violence seen in the country since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Tehran says 225 people were killed, including members of the security forces. On Tuesday, the judiciary said the death sentences of three men who were involved in that unrest had been upheld, triggering a surge of online protests.

    In a statement yesterday, the police urged people to “vigilantly refrain from any gathering that could provide a pretext for the counter-revolutionary movement”, accusing “enemies” of whipping up discontent.

    The statement added: “The police force has an inherent and legal duty to deal decisively with these desperate moves.”

    Meanwhile a separate statement issued by by Imam Reza Corps in the northeastern Khorasan Razavi province said: “With full mastery and action of the intelligence organisation of Imam Reza Corps of Khorasan Razavi province, a number of the main hostile groups, who were persuading their advocates and people to hold protest rallies on streets via publication of call, were identified and arrested.”

    Videos posted on social media from inside Iran on Thursday showed protesters chanting: “Fear not, fear not, we are in this together!” Some chanted slogans against top officials.

    Clips appeared to show a heavy presence of security forces in several cities, although their veracity could not be independently verified.

    Iran’s economic situation, already dire in the face of tough economic sanctions imposed by the United States which have hit the country’s oil exports, has been made still worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Officially the country has 269,440 confirmed cases, and 13,791 deaths, although unofficial claims suggest the figure could be significantly higher.

    Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani today estimated 25 million Iranians were currently infected.

    Speaking by phone from Tehran, one Iranian man who asked to remain anonymous said by phone: “People are angry.

    “The economy is so bad that we cannot survive.”

    Last year’s unrest began with protests over economic hardship and the soaring inflation but turned political, with demonstrators demanding top officials step down.

    There were calls on social media for demonstrations across the country on Friday to protest against the three death sentences.

    Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks.org also claimed internet access in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province had been disrupted late on Thursday.

    Iran has consistently blamed the United States and Israel for domestic unrest.

    With reference to last November’s disturbances, Iranian authorities have acknowledged that some “rioters” were shot and killed by security forces.

    Religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed the unrest was a “very dangerous conspiracy” by Iran’s enemies.

    Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said: “Harrowing testimony from eyewitnesses suggests that almost immediately after the Iranian authorities massacred hundreds of those participating in nationwide protests, they went on to orchestrate a widescale clampdown designed to instill fear and prevent anyone from speaking out about what happened.

    “Without urgent international pressure, thousands will remain at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

    “The international community must take urgent action, including through the UN Human Rights Council holding a special session on Iran to mandate an inquiry into the unlawful killings of protesters, horrifying wave of arrests, and enforced disappearances and torture of detainees, with a view to ensuring accountability.”

    Citing “credible sources”, Amnesty claimed in Raja’i Shahr prison in the city of Karaj, hundreds of detainees, including children, were been brought in trucks to the jail, with handcuffed and blindfolded detainees punched, kicked, and flogged with batons by security forces.”

    • Blast at power plant in Iran’s central Isfahan province – IRNA

      Furthermore, a fire broke out at a cellophane factory in northwest Iran on Sunday, in the town of Sheikh Hassan in East Azerbaijan province.

      An explosion occurred at a power plant in Iran’s central Isfahan province on Sunday but there were no casualties, the official IRNA news agency reported.

      The blast was caused by the wear and tear of a transformer at the power plant in Islamabad, the managing director of the Isfahan power company told IRNA.

      Furthermore, a fire broke out at a cellophane factory in northwest Iran on Sunday, the ILNA news agency reported, posting video of thick black smoke rising from the site.

      https://twitter.com/Doranimated/status/128482883003364147

      The fire was in the town of Sheikh Hassan in East Azerbaijan province.

      There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.

      https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/blast-at-power-plant-in-irans-central-isfahan-province-irna-635572

      ===========================
      Was there an oil pipeline explosion in Iran yesterday or not? Conflicting reports.

      UPDATE: JULY 19, 2020 12:11 UTC – TankerTrackers.com is reporting that they see NO evidence on satellite imagery of the pipeline blast in Iran widely reported in media yesterday.

      If they are correct, then yesterday’s reports add another layer of mystery to the recent string of verified mysterious explosions in Iran. We will be updating this story as new information surfaces.

      We have now reviewed this morning’s NASA satellite imagery as well as flaring data, and DO NOT SEE any indication of a burning pipeline.

      https://www.portandterminal.com/oil-pipeline-explosion-in-iran-today-is-11th-mysterious-incident-on-a-growing-list/

      ==================================================
      Iran: Explosion of an oil pipeline in Sarbandar, province of Khuzestan

    • Iran: No injuries reported after explosion at Eslamabad power plant

      No casualties were reported after an explosion occurred at a power plant in Eslamabad, Isafhan Province on Sunday morning.

      According to the managing director of the Isfahan Regional Electricity Company Rasoul Mussa Rezaei, the continuity of the energy supply was also not interrupted and the damaged components have already been replaced.

      “It’s not a very important incident and the [damaged] equipment is not very complicated or expensive. The spare part is available and is being replaced,” said Rezaei.

      “The line between Isfahan power plant and Abshar was disconnected due to this incident, fortunately, it was reconnected immediately and debris from this incident have been cleared, now we have no problem at all,” he went on to explain.

      The incident followed a recent string of mysterious explosions and fires at important Iranian sites, including a blaze at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, leading to a suspicion of sabotage in recent weeks.

  6. Germany: Hundreds march against racism and police brutality in Berlin

    Hundreds took part in a demonstration against racism and police brutality in Berlin on Saturday, carrying Black Lives Matter signs as they marched through the streets.

    Meeting at the iconic ‘Victory Column’, the group rallied northwards to the city’s Moabit neighbourhood

  7. “Cornell University takes a major step towards compulsory racial activism for faculty, students, and staff”
    by William A. Jacobson – July 16, 2020
    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/07/cornell-university-takes-a-major-step-towards-compulsory-racial-activism-for-faculty-and-students/

    “Allan Bloom’s Six Ways That Universities Corrupt the Youth”
    by Richard J. Bishirjian – November 1, 2018
    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2018/11/allan-bloom-closing-of-the-american-mind-universities-richard-bishirjian.html

  8. sky news – Woman treated with hormone blockers to reassign gender takes NHS to court

    A woman who was treated with hormone blockers to reassign her gender as a teenager is taking the NHS to court, saying she “should have been told to wait”.

    She said the care she received for gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity, steered her towards medical treatment.

    The Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said they provide a “thoughtful and measured service for children, young people and their families” who come to them in “considerable distress”.

  9. Man arrested after worker stabbed at Brighton Hospital (telegraph, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/19/man-arrested-worker-stabbed-royal-sussex-county-hospital/

    “A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a member of hospital staff was stabbed, according to police.

    The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton was put in lockdown following the incident on Sunday morning.

    A Sussex Police spokesman said the incident was not being treated as a terrorist attack and no-one else had been hurt.

    He added that a 30-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder…”

  10. Shocking footage | Mexico’s ‘cartel army’ prompts government inquiry

    Mexico’s Public Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo announced that the authorities were determining the authenticity of the viral video that appears to show heavily armed, uniformed troops in the service of one of the country’s most powerful drug cartels.

  11. More Grooming Gang Arrests in Child Sexual Exploitation Epicentre of Rochdale (breitbart, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/19/more-grooming-gang-arrests-in-rochdale-for-child-sexual-exploitation-offences-dating-back-to-2002/

    “Greater Manchester Police have arrested a number of suspects involved in historical grooming gang crimes committed against women between 2002 and 2006 in Rochdale, England, one of the country’s most notorious grooming gang epicentres.

    The arrests pre-date the infamous grooming gang that operated in the town between 2005 and 2008, which was finally busted by police in 2012 after years of being overlooked by the local police.

    The latest arrests came as a part of Operation Lytton, which is one of 49 ongoing investigations into child sexual exploitation in the Greater Manchester area. Police have identified 271 victims of abuse and some 300 suspects.

    So far, however, the identities of the suspects have not been made public.

    A statement from Greater Manchester Police quoted by the Manchester Evening News explained that “Op Lytton is one of a number of ongoing major investigations into child sexual exploitation across Greater Manchester. This is a complex criminal investigation into non-recent abuse committed in Rochdale between 2002 and 2006.”

    “A number of arrests and interviews have already taken place and the investigation continues,” the statement said, but added that “due to the sensitivities associated with offences of this nature, victims are at the forefront of our investigation and it would be inappropriate to release any further information at this time.”

    The former Crown Prosecution Service chief prosecutor in the North-West, Nazir Afzal, praised the operation, saying: “I have always said justice delayed is better than justice denied so I very much welcome GMP’s investigation into non-recent child sexual abuse in Rochdale.”

    “What we dealt with in 2012 was merely the tip of a national iceberg which agencies didn’t see coming. Now they must continue to put right their earlier wrongs,” Afzal added.

    Three men who were jailed for their roles in the infamous Rochdale grooming gang, Qari Abdul Rauf, Abdul Aziz, and Adil Khan, have been revealed to be living in a town where they preyed on young girls, years after being slated for deportation.

    In 2012, the men were convicted of a series of charges relating to the sexual abuse of children as young as 12. The men were all released early from prison, however.

    As the three rapists held dual citizenship in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, they had their British citizenship revoked following their convictions, with the government promising they would be removed — but this has not happened, despite the trio losing a series of taxpayer-funded appeals.

    In 2017, a study conducted by London based counter-extremism think tank, Quilliam, showed that 84 per cent of those convicted of grooming gang crimes in Britain were Muslim men of South Asian heritage.

    The study, which was authored by two Pakistani-heritage men, found that the grooming gangs went after young white girls, whom they viewed as “easy targets”, rather than girls from their own communities, whom they felt should be “protected”.

    “We began thinking we would debunk the media narrative that Asians are overrepresented in this specific crime,” said author Muna Adil.

    “But, when the final numbers came in we were alarmed and dismayed. For both of us being of Pakistani heritage, this issue is deeply personal and deeply disturbing,” Adil added.”

  12. French Firefighter Hit by Gunshot While Responding to Blaze (breitbart, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/19/french-firefighter-hit-gunshot-while-responding-fire/

    “A firefighter was rushed to hospital earlier this week after being shot in the leg by an unknown assailant while attempting to put out a car fire on Bastille Day.

    The incident took place in the commune of Etampes in a small car park near the Jean-Laloyeau stadium at around 11:30 p.m. A car had been set on fire, and when firefighters entered the area, they were met with gunfire and were forced to flee.

    “At the end of the evening, while I was doing my tour, I heard an explosion. When I got out, I saw this car on fire. So I immediately called the fire department,” a local city employee told the newspaper Le Parisien.

    The employee also witnessed the attack on the firefighters, saying: “One of them shouted that his colleague had just been shot and that they were taking him to the emergency room. They left, and the police arrived. In the rush, they even forgot their equipment. I put it aside and then they came to get it.”

    Local union official Jean-Christophe Cantot reacted to the incident, saying: “The attacks we are experiencing are getting more and more violent.”

    According to Le Parisien, attacks on firefighters in the commune are not rare. A man whose cellar was flooded threatened a fire crew with a machete last September.

    France’s new interior minister Gérald Darmanin had spoken to the firefighter, saying: “I felt shocked. He also told me that he had also suffered a psychological injury.”

    He added that the firefighter told him it was the third attack he had been subjected to in the last ten months and called the incidents unacceptable.

    Attacks on firefighters have become common across some regions of France in recent years to the point that the Alpes-Maritimes department went as far at to launch a series of videos asking the public to stop attacking them.

    In May, at least 20 people in Strasbourg were arrested after attacking firefighters with various projectiles, including Molotov cocktails.

    Last July in the region of Loire-Atlantique, firemen protested violence against them, saying they had been attacked nearly every day for the better part of a month.”

  13. FRANCE NANTES – Me Chabert à Nantes : “Aucun élément ne rattache directement mon client à l’incendie”

    ” … Catholics should have mercy and show forgiveness for the culprits …”

  14. 27 Islamic State suspects held in Turkey as attacks planned (abcnews, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/27-islamic-state-suspects-held-turkey-attacks-planned-71865731

    “Turkish police have detained 27 people in Istanbul over suspected links to the Islamic State group Sunday, state-run media said Sunday.

    The Anadolu news agency reported that the suspects were held in simultaneous early morning raids by anti-terrorist police in 15 districts across Istanbul as they allegedly prepared to carry out attacks.

    The agency said the alleged attacks were in response to recent social media posts that insulted the Prophet Muhammad and that a “large number” of documents and digital material was recovered during the searches.

    Turkey has suffered a number of attacks by Islamic State militants over the last five years, including the bombing of a peace rally in the capital Ankara in October 2015 that killed 102 people.”

  15. channel 4 – Why Black Americans are deciding to resettle in Africa

    The government of Ghana began intensively lobbying Black Americans to resettle in Africa last year, and now, in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the US, the country’s tourism minister has stepped up the campaign.

  16. Belgium: “Dutchman is the real responsible man for whole mess” – Orban on EU summit deadlock

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte accountable for the stalemate in negotiations on the post-COVID recovery fund for the European Union, as the summit in Brussels reached its third day on Sunday.

    “I don’t like blame game, but the Dutchman is the real responsible man for whole mess we have,” said Orban.

    Rutte with the support of Austrian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish allies are blocking the agreement on the proposed ?€750 ($857) billion recovery fund, as they call for access to be conditional on proven democratic values and for states who fail to comply to be barred from receiving support.

    “I don’t know what is the personal reason for the Dutch prime minister to hate me or Hungary, but he’s attacking so harshly and making very clear that because Hungary, in his opinion, does not respect the rule of law, must be punished financially”, added Orban.

    Orban and his right-wing government have repeatedly clashed with other European states and EU bodies over what critics have characterised as a slide into authoritarian rule, an allegation denied by the Hungarian prime minister.

  17. Explosion Hits Central Iranian Power Plant Few Weeks After Natanz Nuclear Site Blast (sputniknews, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202007191079927520-iran-power-plant-isfahan-explosion-natanz-blast/

    “The blast occurred a few weeks after an explosion ripped through Iran’s Natanz facility for enriching uranium, in an incident that was reportedly caused by a bomb.

    An explosion took place at a power plant in Iran’s central Isfahan Province on Sunday, the country’s IRNA news agency reports.

    The news outlet cited Saeid Mohseni, chief executive of Esfahan Power Generation Co., as saying that the blast did not disrupt the plant’s electricity supply to customers.

    “The damaged equipment is being repaired”, he said, adding that the power station resumed operations about two hours after the explosion.

    The incident reportedly took place due to a technical problem at the plant and did not cause any casualties.

    Natanz Explosion
    This came after a blast occurred at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran in early July, with the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation stating at the time that the facility “is operating as usual”, since the reactor was not damaged in the explosion and there were no casualties following the incident.

    Tehran pledhed to announce “the main cause” of the explosion “at a proper time”, warning that if it finds out “foreign elements” were behind the incident, they will face consequences.

    Earlier, The New York Times reported, citing an unnamed Middle East intelligence official, that the Natanz blast was caused by an “explosive device planted inside the facility”. The report was followed by the Kuwaiti daily al-Jarida citing an unnamed “senior” source as saying that the explosion was Israel’s work.

    The Natanz plant remains the Islamic Republic’s primary uranium processing facility, where Tehran reportedly installed new cascades of advanced centrifuges in November 2019 in retaliation for Washington’s earlier unilateral exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    The incident followed an explosion ripping through the Parchin military complex located about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the Iranian capital Tehran late last month, in what Iranian authorities said was the result of “leaking gas tanks”.”

  18. Afghan Man and Sons Arrested After Man Stabbed to Death on Bus (breitbart, Jul 19, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/19/afghan-man-sons-arrested-man-stabbed-death-swedish-bus/

    “An Afghan migrant and his two sons have been arrested following an incident on a public transit bus that saw a 21-year-old man stabbed to death.

    The alleged murder took place on Wednesday earlier this week in the Swedish town of Kiruna, located in the far north of the Scandinavian country. The man and his sons, who are said to be minors, were arrested a short time later and have claimed they acted in self-defence.

    According to a report from Swedish news website Nyheter Idag, the three came to Sweden in 2012 and initially applied for asylum but were rejected. They again applied in 2015 and were given permanent residency permits, with the man’s sons becoming Swedish citizens last year.

    Lindha Strömberg, the prosecutor in the case, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the victim and the alleged murderers knew each other before the incident, but did not go into details on a potential motive for the alleged murder…”

    • SWEDEN – KIRUNA – Three Afghan Migrants Arrested After Fatal Stabbing Aboard Bus in Sweden

      An Afghan migrant and his two sons have been arrested in the brutal stabbing murder of a man aboard a bus in Kiruna, Sweden, according to reports.

      The 21-year-old victim had reportedly fled onto the bus seeking protection from his assailants before they chased him aboard and knifed him.

      Police apprehended an Afghan man in his 40s, as well as his two teenage sons, and are holding them under suspicion of murder, according to charging documents reviewed by Swedish media.

      “According to the Swedish Tax Agency, the trio came to Sweden from Iran, like many other Afghans who have come to Sweden in recent years. They were registered in 2015 as immigrants to Sweden by the Swedish Tax Agency,” Nyheter Idag reports.

      The father reportedly holds a permanent residence permit, and his sons were recently granted Swedish citizenship, shielding them from deportation, regardless of conviction.

      Authorities say the victim and his attackers knew each other and indicate ‘jealousy’ or revenge may have been a motive for the crime.

      The suspects deny the charges, reportedly admitting there was a violent altercation, but claim they only acted in self-defense.

      “This is about an emergency situation where he protected himself against the now deceased,” said the defendants’ attorney, Jonas Westerlund.

      “There was a previous threat from the deceased against my client and his family. At this time, it became an emergency situation where he had to defend himself.”

      https://europe.infowars.com/three-afghan-migrants-arrested-in-stabbing-murder-aboard-bus-in-sweden/

  19. Lord of the rings, Libya style:

    19 July 2019 One ring to rule them all: Libya’s Haftar ‘uses black magic’ to hypnotise his soldiers
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/7/19/libyas-warlord-haftar-uses-black-magic-to-hypnotise-soldiers
    Libya’s General Khalifa Haftar used strange methods, including magic, to control his forces during the offensive against the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli, a dissident officer revealed.
    In an interview with Libya’s Free Channel, the dissident officer and former spokesman for Haftar’s forces, Mohammed al-Hijazi said the rogue general paid a magician “half a million” to make him a magic ring that is believed to host a servant jinn inside, which is why people clap, praise him and make a fuss in his presence.
    Haftar brought “magicians from Chad and Niger” al-Hijazi said, noting he himself felt “chills” every time he entered the general’s headquarters.
    He “uses magic to subdue, intimidate and drown out people around him,” he said.
    “When I stood next to Haftar, I felt a strange bug that made me believe everything he said”, al-Hijazi claimed.
    Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army has been waging an offensive against rival militias around Tripoli since April.
    Nearly 1,100 people have been killed in Haftar’s months-long campaign to wrest control of Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.
    While backing the government, Western powers earlier this year sent mixed signals, with US President Donald Trump praising Haftar in a phone call and France and Italy welcoming him on visits.
    The UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are seen as key supporters of Haftar. In May, an investigation by Al-Jazeera Arabic TV revealed that cargo planes were found to be dropping off unidentified material at airbases controlled by general Haftar.
    Reports earlier this week revealed the UAE was reportedly close to opening a military base in northern Niger close to the border with Libya, where Emirati-backed forces are fighting to take over the capital Tripoli.
    New website Africa Intelligence reported this week that the oil-rich Gulf state is on the verge of opening the base in the Saharan country to further provide support for rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar.
    Niger is already home to US, French and German military bases.
    UAE has reportedly provided military support for Haftar in his current military offensive to take control of Tripoli in violation of a UN arms embargo on Libya.
    The New York Times reported earlier this month that forces loyal to Libya’s unity government had discovered French missiles at a base used by Haftar.
    The newspaper claimed that markings on the missiles indicated they had been sold to the UAE in 2008.
    The UAE has also attempted to build a military and naval base in Somaliland.
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/5/28/planes-secretly-deliver-cargo-to-haftars-bases-in-libya
    https://www.africaintelligence.com/lce/diplomatic-affairs/2019/07/10/abu-dhabi-and-ankara-jockey-for-position,108364989-art

  20. UK – LONDON – Protesters march on Hyde Park refusing to wear face coverings ahead of new coronavirus shop rules

    HUNDREDS of protesters gathered in Hyde Park this afternoon to demonstrate against the wearing of face masks.

    Face masks will become compulsory in shops from July 24 – and anyone who fails to wear one can be hit with a £100 fine.

    Activists brandished signs reading “I will not be masked, tested, tracked” and “no mask” as they gathered for the ‘Keep Britain Free’ march today.

    The group claim the government acted “illegally” by putting the country into lockdown and are opposed to a Covid-19 vaccination.

  21. Five dead, 85 wounded in car bomb attack in Syria’s Azaz: Turkish state media
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-security-azaz/five-dead-85-wounded-in-car-bomb-attack-in-syrias-azaz-turkish-state-media-idUSKCN24K0P2

    “A car bomb attack in northwestern Syria’s Azaz region killed five people and wounded 85 others, a local hospital in Syria and Turkish state media said on Sunday.

    The incident took place in the village of Siccu, across the border from Turkey’s southern province of Kilis, Turkey’s Anadolu agency said.

    It said 15 of the wounded had been taken to a hospital on the Turkish side of the border and that some were in critical condition.

    Azaz has been under the control of rebels backed by Turkey since Ankara’s first incursion into Syria in 2016, in an operation that aimed to drive away Islamic State militants and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from its border with Syria.

    Ankara regards the U.S.-backed YPG as a terrorist organisation. The operation ended in 2017.

    Syria held a parliamentary election across government territory on Sunday. The country is struggling against a collapsing economy and new U.S. sanctions after President Bashar al-Assad clawed back control of most of the country.”

  22. Hagia Sophia mosaics will be covered with curtains during prayers: Turkish presidential spokesman
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-hagiasophia-erdogan/hagia-sophia-mosaics-will-be-covered-with-curtains-during-prayers-turkish-presidential-spokesman-idUSKCN24K0OS

    “Mosaics depicting Christian figures in Istanbul’s ancient Hagia Sophia will be covered with curtains during Muslim prayers, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Sunday, as work to prepare the building for use as a mosque continues.

    Authorities had said last week that the mosaics would be concealed with either curtains or lasers when the first prayers are held next Friday.

    In a move that sparked sparked international criticism and concern, President Tayyip Erdogan declared Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship earlier this month following a court ruling that said the building’s conversion to a museum in 1934 was unlawful.

    Hagia Sophia dates back to the sixth century and has a history as both a church and a mosque before it was turned into a museum.

    In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Kalin said some mosaics of Mary and Gabriel that are positioned in the direction of Qiblah, where Muslims face during prayer, would be covered with curtains.

    He said other mosaics of Jesus and other Christian figures did not pose an obstacle for Muslim prayers because they are not located in the direction of Qiblah. But he did not say whether they would remain uncovered at all times.

    Outside prayers, Hagia Sophia will be open to all visitors and tourists and all mosaics will be uncovered, authorities have said.

    Erdogan visited the mosque earlier on Sunday to inspect the progress in preparing the building.”

  23. Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 3 PKK terrorists in N Iraq
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-forces-neutralize-3-pkk-terrorists-in-n-iraq-156667

    “Turkish security forces “neutralized” three PKK terrorists in air-backed anti-terror operations in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said on July 18.

    The terrorists were neutralized in northern Iraq’s Zap region, the ministry said on Twitter.

    Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.”

  24. ‘Hagia Sophia move shows will of Muslim country’
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/hagia-sophia-move-shows-will-of-muslim-country/1915074

    “Turkey’s decision to re-open Hagia Sophia as a mosque shows its ability “to assert its sovereignty and will”, said speakers at a virtual seminar on Saturday.

    “Turkey has been siding with legitimate voices of the people and governments in the region,” said Sami Al-Arian, an expert on global affairs…”

  25. Terrorist ‘neutralized’ in southeastern Turkey
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/terrorist-neutralized-in-southeastern-turkey/1915794

    “Turkish security forces “neutralized” a terrorist in the southeastern province of Siirt, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

    In a statement, the ministry said that Turkish Gendarmerie carried out an air-backed anti-terror operation in the Pervari district of Siirt.

    The operation is still ongoing, the statement added.

    Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

    No affiliation was given for the terrorists, but Turkey’s southeast has long seen terrorist PKK activity.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.”

  26. ‘US protects, gives every support to FETO’
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/-us-protects-gives-every-support-to-feto-/1915093

    “The US protects and gives all kinds of support to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, said the head of Turkish parliament’s constitutional committee.

    Bekir Bozdag responded to Anadolu Agency’s questions on Turkey’s fight against the terrorist group FETO as this week marks the fourth anniversary of the defeated coup.

    A former deputy prime minister and justice minister for Turkey, Bozdag said that crucial evidence was sent to the US for the extradition of the FETO leader.

    “We do not think that such an extradition file has ever been prepared about any defendant,” Bozdag said.

    “We have sent experts there, [US] experts came to Turkey,” he added.

    According to an extradition agreement between Turkey and the US, Ankara’s demands should be fulfilled immediately, Bozdag said.

    FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 15, 2016, defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Gulen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg since 1999.

    Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

    July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day is a public holiday in Turkey, marked with events to commemorate those who lost their lives defeating the deadly coup attempt.

    Turkey’s fight against FETO

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thwarted a possible FETO invasion in Turkey, Bozdag said.

    On the fight against FETO, Bozdag said: “The state is determined to fight against FETO.”

    Around 150,000 officials in the Turkish government including the army and justice department were dismissed from their posts, he added.

    Since the coup attempt, Turkish institutions, including the military, have been working to find and expel elements of FETO, the group behind the plot.

    A two-year state of emergency declared after the July 2016 defeated coup was lifted on July 20, 2018.

    Earlier this month, Turkey’s presidential commission on the state of emergency concluded 85% of all applications concerning measures taken in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

    The Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency Measures gave details of applications on measures adopted under the state of emergency decree-laws, such as the dismissal of public officials, scholarship cancellations, annulment of the ranks of retired personnel, and the closure of some institutions.

    The commission started the process in December 2017, and took over 108,000 decisions as of July 3, said the report.”

    • Five Reasons Why the West Will Lose Turkey

      [Conclusions]
      There should be no illusions. The West has diminishing influence over Turkey and must prepare for a worst-case scenario in which Turkey joins an anti-West alliance in the not-so-distant future. Fortunately, there are three countries in the Eastern Mediterranean that can function as a bastion of democracy and Western ideals. Greece, Israel, and the Republic of Cyprus are America’s best chance to maintain influence in the region.

      https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/west-loses-turkey/

  27. One of the daily updates from ProMED (Internat’l Soc for Infectious Disease) may be of interest. It’s a briefing on the different strains of the Wuhan that seem to be circulating at the same time. More questions than answers, but it could help to explain variance in symptoms and infectivity.

    Obviously, this finding would blow away the notion of a near-term vaccine. (It is anyway. It’s a virus – C’mon man!) Govt funding of fast-track research looks more like money-laundering, fiddling the DOW.

    The pre-print review in the SCMP:
    Coronavirus: are two strains together deadlier than one?

    Researchers in the US say some people could be infected by two variations of the pathogen at once, sending the immune system into overdrive. Major study needed to confirm whether theory is supported, Chinese scientist says.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/3093690/coronavirus-are-two-strains-together-deadlier-one

    • The ProMed moderator comments:

      “The concept of serial infections may partly explain individuals reporting mild symptoms in the 1st exposure and subsequent exposure to a variant resulting in a dengue-like exaggerated immune response with more severe symptoms; more data is obviously needed to validate whether these are re-infections by genetic variants or repeated infection by the same strains, how vulnerable a less than perfect immune response to the virus leaves the infected, and its implications for the effectiveness of a vaccine.”

    • Dissemination and co-circulation of SARS-CoV2 subclades exhibiting enhanced transmission
      {snips}
      Mechanisms underlying the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)-like clinical manifestations leading to deaths in patients who develop COVID-19 remain uncharacterized. While multiple factors could influence these clinical outcomes, we explored if differences in transmissibility and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV2 variants could contribute to these terminal clinical consequences of COVID-19.…

      “The co-circulation of dominant SARS-CoV2 subclades raises a disturbing possibility that people living in places with high prevalence of co-circulating strains may get serially infected with each variant. The second infection may trigger an immune response not unlike the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) observed in diseases such as dengue.”

      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.13.20152959v1.full.pdf

      • A look at antibody-dependent, autoimmune enhancement:
        Avoiding pitfalls in the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccine

        As they race to devise a vaccine, researchers are trying to ensure that their candidates don’t spur a counterproductive, even dangerous, immune system reaction known as immune enhancement.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/117/15/8218
        …….
        We just don’t know enough. This virus can trigger an autoimmune response that’s often fatal. Medications for autoimmune disorders can prevent that. Even then, steroids improve outcomes.

  28. FORCED MASKING OF AMERICA PAVING THE WAY FOR BILL GATES’ GRAND AGENDA
    I live in Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp has not mandated masks. And, yet, it is getting seriously difficult to find a grocery store where you can enter mask-free. We non-maskers have been reduced to Dollar General, outdoor markets and fruit stands. Why is that? The government isn’t forcing this in Georgia, so who is? What’s happening is another case of our side being outmaneuvered and out organized by the left. Our side, those who still believe that our health and our dress-code are personal decisions, is largely silent. The entire thrust of the Democrats and their media lackeys is to create enough panic so that governors will reverse course and lock their citizens back down in their homes, so they can collapse the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 election and blame the carnage on Trump. Everyone knows this. So why are we aiding their program of fomenting false panic by wearing masks? If we can’t compete with the left on organization, we must honestly assess our options going forward. We can now be denied service based on what we wear and because we refuse to follow the media-led herd. “At least 98% of all Americans are opposed to communism. Yet, they watch elected and appointed officials give continual aid and comfort to the enemy – and they do nothing,” Stormer wrote. The opposite of going along is to resist. I don’t see much resisting going on right now in America. With each new bizarre story of conservatives being discriminated against, with each new retailer announcing “no mask, no service,” you can hear a collective yawn. You can only resist for so long before you realize you have been check-mated. In the end you become either a criminal or a mental patient. That’s what happened to dissidents in the old Soviet Union. If you can’t see it, you’re just not paying attention. This transformation of American society into a lockdown surveillance state will be fast-tracked under Joe Biden, should he win on Nov. 3. If Trump wins, we will have no walk in the park, because the left still controls the bureaucracy, the schools, the universities, most big-city police departments and prosecutor’s offices, the media and the majority of churches. The extent of this control has all been exposed over the last five months. Every one of these institutions has fallen in line with the left’s dictates, and those who refused have been called murderers and selfish haters. I quoted Obama aide Cecelia Munoz in a news conference saying that her job as domestic policy advisor was to ensure that Obama’s policies were embedded “into the DNA” of every federal agency, so they would live on long after she and her boss were gone from the White House. We can see now, nearly four years after Obama’s exit, that most of the federal bureaucrats answer to him, not Trump. Our only true place of refuge is in Jesus Christ, who surely is watching all of this and getting his army of holy angels ready to sound the final trumpet call, at which time He will descend from the clouds with a flash of lightning from east to west. Every knee will bow, not to Black Lives Matter or any billionaire technocrat, but to the King of the Universe. Leo Hohmann
    https://leohohmann.com/2020/07/20/forced-masking-of-america-paving-the-way-for-bill-gates-grand-agenda/

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